Date night is imperative, really at any age, but especially as the parents of younger kids. We need a break, y’all! Luckily there are no shortage of restaurants here in Raleigh to enjoy craft drinks, delicious food and above all, down-time. This week, my husband and I set off to see what’s going on over in North Hills, where new places seem to be popping up all the time.
We started with a glass of wine at Vita Vite, a beautifully styled wine bar and art gallery which opened this past winter. They boast an extensive and varied wine list, along with plenty of craft beers on tap and even a summer “Frose” feature. I thoroughly enjoyed a unique glass of white wine from Greece, and I love that the bartender let me sample it before I committed to a whole glass. They offer a nice selection of small snacks to complement your beverage, and I was really impressed with both the quality and quantity of the charcuterie plate we got. Ours included savory Manchego, buttery Chorizo, bold summer sausage and the classy kind of crackers with dried herbs and sea salt- well done. The upstairs was closed for a private party, but next time I definitely plan to check out the second-floor patio with a beautiful view of Midtown Park. Yes, there will be a next time.
Our next stop was Stir, just a few minutes walk through the bustling foot traffic of North Hills, which felt urban and lively in a great way. Stir is another gorgeous space with thoughtful decorative touches, like the glass star pendants dangling above the bar and vintage iron pieces hanging on the walls. They pride themselves on their “artisan ice, hand-crushed to order” which…makes me feel old, because clearly I’m not hip enough to appreciate that. But the drinks were fantastic, and the service was friendly and quick. We enjoyed a few appetizers, like the Avocado and Mahi Ceviche (solid), Parmesan Truffle Fries (just ok) and the Fried Green Tomatoes (excellent). The people watching alone might sell me on this place; my husband and I observed a seriously awkward blind date and multiple enthusiastically loud groups of people clearly enjoying themselves- it’s definitely the new spot to be seen!
So we tried something new-ish, we tried something brand new and with Capital Grille right next door, we couldn’t help ourselves- we had to go classic. We love their patio this time of year, and their bar menu is surprisingly reasonable and very well-executed. Plus, their service is shockingly great. The very first time we ate dinner there, my husband told the manager, Joe, that his favorite dessert is Bananas Foster. That man walked to the Harris Teeter and BOUGHT BANANAS. The sous chef brought it out himself. Who does that? This time, after we said hello to our favorite server, Doug, he took it upon himself to bring out our go-to cocktails without even asking. Legendary. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend them for your next special occasion or relaxed night in the bar.
North Hills proved to be an excellent area to hop around and enjoy multiple stops and styles all in one night. Raleigh is growing at lightening speed and there are so many places, new and old, to try. Drop me a line and let me know where I should go next!
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